Sonnesyn Elementary School will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring three community elders in their gym on Thursday, February 5, 2015, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM.   Featuring  4th grade students with Larry Long, plus ‘the first lady of song’ Debbie Duncan and ‘pianist’ Sam Reeves.  Address: 3421 Boone Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55427.  This year’s theme is ‘Honoring Men of Color’ and we are happy to shine a light on their life achievements.

 Elder Wisdom, Children’s Song™ is brought to you by Community Celebration of Place (501-C-3) in partnership with Robbinsdale Area Schools and the West Metro Education Program (WMEP).

Larry Long, Smithsonian Folkways Recording Artist and creator of Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, has been working with 4th grade classes of Sarah Rodriguez, Jacqueline Ballot and Deb Petersen to collectively write songs that honor the life stories of the following community elders:

  • Michael Favor: Born in Athens, Georgia during the Civil Rights Movement. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Graduated with a degree in Sociology, Social Work, and Coaching.  Received his Masters Degree from Hamline University.  Doctoral Degree is progress.  Assistant Superintendent of the Robbinsdale School District.
  • Beni Persaud: Born in Guyana, South America. Worked as a child on the sugar plantations with his mother following his father’s death when he was seven years of age. After serving in the British Army he moved to Minnesota. Attended Dunwoody Institute. Married and has three daughters and one son. Retired from the railroad.
  • Samuel Wagner Cooke: Born in the Republic of Liberia, West Africa. Graduated with a Secondary Education Degree. Served as Research Director and Secretary General for the National Teachers Association. Elected to the West African Examinations Council, which develops policies for the five English speaking member-countries in West Africa; Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Nigeria. Moved to Minnesota in 1998, where he received a Masters degree. Presently works for the Robbinsdale School District.

 

Sonnesyn’s Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration on February 5, 2015 will feature 4th grade students with Larry Long, plus ‘the first lady of song’ Debbie Duncan and ‘stellar pianist’ Sam Reeves.

 Samuel Wagner Cooke-CLASS-LOWRES MICHAEL FAVOR-CLASS-LOWRESE Beni Persaud-CLASS-LOWRES

Community Empowerment is the topic to end the year. It the holiday show on Urban Perspectives 12/28/14. I talk with the Chief Financial Officer of American Public Media:Morris Goodwin Jr, Dr. Margret Lovejoy Founder of the Family Place Shelter, Larry Long Director/Founder of Community Celebration of Place and we spotlight Shay Glorius Martin: “The Lab” Youth Mentor.

Watch live or DVR Urban Perspectives Sunday 5;30am on WCCO-TV. Pete Rhodes & Larry Long

Larry will be taking a three-month break from American Roots Revue and solo performances to focus on his work in education through Community Celebration of Place.

Over the past twenty-five years, Larry in partnership with Community Celebration of Place has honored nearly 1,000 community elders from across the United States and the world in spoken word, song, and art through this program. Alan Lomax, one of the great American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, once called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, the “missing link.” That link continues to get stronger with every year. 

Learn More

“Who will carry on this story when I’m gone?” – Slava Bryn, Elder

In school year 2013-2014, Larry Long initiated the creation and publishing of twelve story-song books through Community Celebration of Place in partnership with the West Metro Education Program and Minneapolis Public Schools. These books, written and illustrated by youth, honor the cultural diversity of our region through the inspirational life stories of community elders. The books are integrated into the yearly curriculum of area schools and made available FREE online at communitycelebration.org.

Learn More

Samuel Wagner Cooke-CLASS-LOWRES

MICHAEL FAVOR-CLASS-LOWRESE Beni Persaud-CLASS-LOWRES

Larry is presently working with students from Sonnesyn Elementary School in New Hope, Minnesota to honor the life stories of Beni Persaud, Samuel Wagner Cooke, and Michael Favor in narrative and song through a program called, Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song.   The lyrics to their songs will be illustrated by students and published, as part of the Men of Color Series through Community Celebration of Place.  (www.communitycelebration.org)

About the honored elders:

Samuel Wagner Cooke:  Born in the Republic of Liberia, West Africa.  Graduated with a Secondary Education Degree.  Principal of Public High School.   Fled during the Civil War and settled in Minnesota, where he received a Master Degree and works in the Robbinsdale School District.

 

Michael Favor:  Born in Athens, Georgia during the Civil Rights Movement.  Family moved to Minneapolis when he was a child.  Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.   Graduated with a degree in Sociology, Social Work, and Coaching. Principal at Minneapolis North and Cooper High Schools.  Presently, Assistant Superintendent of the Robbinsdale School District.

 

Beni Persaud:  Born in Guyana, South America.  Worked as a child on the sugar plantations with his mother following his father’s death when he was seven. After joining the British Army he moved to Minnesota.   Married and raised their four children in north Minneapolis.

Tickets are still available for the September show at the Dakota. Don’t miss this chance to see American Roots Revue back together again for an end-of-summer celebration. And as if you didn’t have enough reasons, Robert Robinson is back!

Featuring Larry Long, JD Steele, Robert Robinson, Tonia Hughes, Waubanewquay Day & Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott with Cory Wong (guitar), Yohannes Tona (bass), Brian Ziemniak (Keyboards), Marc Anderson (Percussion), Petar Janjic (drums)

Fresh off of a 2014 five-city ‘Legacy’ summer tour, American Roots Revue celebrates in story and song the many nations of people who call this country home. The American Roots Revue works from the core of America’s richest musical traditions of gospel, folk, blues, R&B and First Nation traditions of the Anishinabe Ojibwe people. Backed by some of the finest Twin Cities musician’s making music across the world today.

In a satisfying two-hour performance that’s good for body and soul, this roots ensemble is led by Smithsonian/Folkways Recording artist, Larry Long, an American singer-songwriter who has made his life work the celebration of everyday heroes whom author, historian, actor, and broadcaster Studs Terkel called “a true American Troubadour.” Joining Long is national recording artist and producer, J. D. Steele, who heralds from the dynamic vocal family of siblings, The Steeles, a group that has garnered every major music award and accolade the state has had to offer. J.D. and the family began touring the international hit show “Gospel at Colonus” with Morgan Freeman around the world before finally landing on Broadway in 1988 for a successful nine-month run.

Rising powerhouse singer Tonia Hughes has deep roots in the African-American church but has also become a sought-after back-up singer on other genres and is a star in her own right. She’s served as a lead vocalist with the Grammy- and Stellar Award-nominated Excelsior Chorale Ensemble and has sung with a host of gospel and secular artists, including rock bands and pop performers. Keeper and Singer of the Song ‘Waubanewquay’ Dorene Day, the inspired Native Life Ways Singer/Practitioner, plays many roles in her rich artistic life. She sang as “Spirit Woman” in the play “Song Catcher” written by Marcie Rendon, performed in the WPT series, Wisconsin Stories-Ojibwe Music and sang for the Disney mini-series “Dream Keeper.” She also sings with her eldest Son’s Drum Group, ”Midnite Express” and is on several recordings. Dorene also won the 2010 Female singing competition in Mille Lacs Lake for the Minnesota Round Dance.

The American Roots Revue is a must-see event.

cost:  $30   Ticketswww.dakotacooks.com  or   BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299

Robert Robinson Photograph - Recent

About Robert Robinson

“I’m sure there are a lot of people like me who wish they had the ability to embrace every hurting person in the world and assure them that their lives will get better.  I can share that embrace and assurance in my songs.” – Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson is reason to believe that the greatest music reaches every name and crosses every boundary, from audiences in the Pontiac Silverdome to troops in South Korea. Standing five foot five and sipping Diet Coke, Robert is “God’s canary.”  He possesses the ability to sing any song and yet remain true to his vision.

KFAI will present “For Pete’s Sake”, a celebration of the life and work of musician and activist Pete Seeger, as a holiday-brightening opener on Labor Day morning from 6 to 8 am. Seeger was a lifelong supporter of organized labor and union causes.
When Pete died early this year, his friend Larry Long promised to celebrate what would have been Pete’s 95th birthday with a cast of local musicians who had keenly felt Seeger’s influence. On May 3rd, that group gathered at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

The event celebrated the many phases of Seeger’s life and activism with an abundance of music from across the cultural spectrum.

Start your holiday morning with a long list of local notables: Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, John Gorka, Estaire Godinez, Chastity Brown, Larry Long, Joyful Noize, Peter Ostroushko, Waubanewquay Day, Ann Reed, Dan Chouinard, Tonia Hughes, Cyril Paul, Kevin Fuhrman, Brian Barnes, Brittany Delaney, Mitch Walking Elk, Courtney Yasmineh, Aimee Bryant, Patty Kakac, Barb Tilsen, Pop Wagner, Tony Glover, Charlie Maguire, Marc Anderson, Joe Savage, Cameron Wright, Lorna Her Many Horses, and Timothy Frantzich.

Featured narrators: Dale Connelly (News Director, KFAI, Fresh Air Community Radio), Anthony Galloway (Student Learning Programs Specialist, West Metro Education Program), Randy Furst & Chris Serres (Minnesota Newspaper Guild), Rod Volker (Vietnam Veteran, Marine Corp, Bring a Vet Home), Alejandra Tobar (Actress), Kim Ellison (Minneapolis Public School Board), Louis Alemayehu (Poet), Jacqueline Long (Attorney, Community Activist), Sharon Sayles Belton (Former Mayor of Minneapolis), Alanna Galloway (Communication Workers of America AFL-CIO), Dr. Josie Johnson (Civil Rights & Social Justice Elder), Ann Bancroft (Polar Explorer, Founder of Ann Bancroft Foundation), Reverend Dr. Will Healy (Park Avenue Methodist Church), Rhiana Yazzie (Playwright, Artistic Director of New Native Theatre), Jacob Reitan (LGBT Activist, Founder of Soulforce Equality Ride), Scarlett Lopez Cruz & Hector Lopez Cruz (Actors and Youth Activists), William Bunton (Freedom School Scholar)

Live Stream:   http://kfai.org/news/2014/08/43767

IMG_2685When I suspend judgment and allow the best intentions of the people to be heard through the collective songwriting process, a power far greater than “I” takes hold.

A song has the potential to open up ones heart to love, so often concealed within the ‘busy’ world in which we live.

To honor is to listen.  This is what I try to do when I sit down with a guitar, laptop computer, magic markers, and large sheets of flip chart paper and ask a room full of people what’s on their mind.   As they speak, I let go of judgment, and write down everything they say.   After they speak, I read back everything I wrote down and ask, “Did I get it right?”   If they say, “Yes!” we move onto the next person. Within a short period of time we have the thoughts of everyone in the room written down on one large document, which we collectively distill into a song.

I’ve written over a thousand songs with people of many faiths, cultures, and complexions from around the world and close to home using this process.

Last week in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota I worked with those who live and work in a ‘faith-based’ homeless shelter called The Refuge.

Out of which, a song was born.  These are some of their thoughts, followed by their song entitled, We Are The Refuge.

“The Refuge serves 30,000 meals a year. We feed guys from jails, guys from the streets. We have Thursday through Saturday night suppers.”

“We deal with anything and everything. Those who are at the end of their rope and in need of help.”

“People come in and we give them bread. We give them a place to stay.”

“We have a Compassion House. We deal with women on the back end of domestics. Hurting and needing help.”

“Those (who struggle) mentally and (with) alcohol and meth. You name it and we deal with it. We help them look for a job, (give them) transitional housing. We help them get on their right foot.”

“They’ve pointed me in a positive direction. They’ve given me a vision to grow in fellowship, as Christians. To get my life moving forward once and for all through Jesus, so guys like me don’t stumble or fall.

“(We) can always come back. (We) have friends here.” 

“I’ve been through treatment twice. I grew up in a Christian home. Trying to reconnect and reunite (with) my faith.”

“The book of Job is my favorite. Job didn’t feel like he should be punished the way he was. He couldn’t understand why he was punished. He came out a stronger person of faith and wealthier because of it. God can show us power through hard times and good times.”

“He has a purpose. He has a plan. He is the reason for why we stand.”

“We have hope in the future.”

“Feed the hungry.”

We’re The Refuge 

Vision to grow in fellowship with Jesus

So guys like me don’t stumble or fall

We are here for a reason

Each of us we have been called

We’re ‘The Refuge’ from the storm

Through Christ Jesus we’re reborn

We are tested by God’s wisdom

We are tested by God’s love

Through each trial we grow stronger

Through the strength from God above

We’re ‘The Refuge’ from the storm

Through Christ Jesus we’re reborn

We believe in God’s power

We believe God has a plan

Each of us we have a purpose

God is the reason for why we stand

We’re ‘The Refuge’ from the storm

Through Christ Jesus we’re reborn

There are times when we are homeless

There are times we need a bed

There are times we are hungry

Upon God’s word I lay my head

We’re ‘The Refuge’ from the storm

Through Christ Jesus we’re reborn

We are children of God’s nation

We are the hope of days to come

In the power of God’s glory

We are the light of God’s love

We’re ‘The Refuge’ from the storm

Through Christ Jesus we’re reborn

 

Music by Larry Long

Words by Larry Long with Christian Thorson, Chad Dakota,

Aleisa Jopp, Lynette Price, Charlie Walker

Copyright Larry Long Publishing 2014 / BMI

 

 

 

IMG_2697Thursday, August 14th, I collectively wrote an anthem for Beyond The Yellow Ribbon in Crookston, Minnesota with eleven of their supporters at the Crookston City Hall.

They shared with me the story of how Beyond The Yellow Ribbon began and their commitment to help veterans and their families return ‘all the way back home from deployment’.

These are some of their shared thoughts:

“One of my sons was a gunner, who served in Iraq in the Marine Corp and my other son was in communication. Our youngest son struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). He’s 26 years old. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon helped him get a Patriot Assistant Dog, which has really helped him through. They also helped us get to Camp New Hope.”

“My reason (to be involved in Beyond the Yellow Ribbon) is to make sure the country doesn’t react to veterans in the same way some did in my era. It was not a comfortable time when I served.”

“When I receive news of another soldier dying in war, I think, ‘It wasn’t my son, but it could have been our son. It could be your kid.’”

“There was no direction for any of us to go when we came home from deployment in Kosovo. We simply didn’t have that direction, but we do now.”

“There were things I did in Bosnia that I still think about a lot. When I came back I ended up getting a job full time and wandered through VA disability programs. It’s been eleven years. I still have issues. If we had Beyond The Yellow Ribbon
when I returned from deployment, I would have had fewer issues.”

“Beyond The Yellow Ribbon points people in the right direction.”

“Before (Beyond the Yellow Ribbon) the returning soldier couldn’t have guard duty for nine months. The soldier had no one to talk to (isolated from others who served). Gen. Larry Shellito saw this as a problem. He asked Chaplin John Morris to ‘build me a program to change this’. Change it they did. Now within two weeks upon returning (from deployment) to Minnesota we had a weekend drill (retreat) with significant other and family. We had over 800 troops gather that weekend. They bought ever motel room in town.”

“Everyone watching out for each other and what can we do to help.”

“Beyond The Yellow Ribbon covers all cycles of deployment. Before during and after. We are here for the whole thing.”

“We don’t want them (Veterans) to be forgotten and lost. We will be there for them for whatever they need.”

“We never walk past a veteran. We always thank them. We always say, “Welcome Home.” We honor those who’ve served.”

“War is hell. We are trained and assigned to disable or kill people. We use methods that us Christian people would not condone. Yet, if you don’t (use these methods), you don’t go home. “

“If you were in your car today and driving down the road and see a kid. You stop. Now you send a young man to Iraq. The first time driving a company down the road. A kid jumps out. You don’t know if the kid is wearing explosives. You can’t stop, because if you did you would put the whole unit in jeopardy. That driver does not forget it. Suppresses it and then it comes back years later to haunt him.”

“The soldier is given a mission to take the life of the enemy. They go out in the morning knowing that. He (their enemy) has a mission, too, and his job is to take care of you. Hope your training is superior to his.”

“Every soldier is our son and daughter. All those troops become a part of your family. We’re the information conduits. We cover a broad range of different professions in our group. We’re a family who takes care of our veterans.”

“Families reach out to us when their soldiers go off on missions. A lady called us, because we were the only civilians allowed to talk with the commander on the ground. Her boy was on the same mission as our son. We heard on the news that people (soldiers) were getting killed. She wanted to know if her son was still alive. Hardest phone call in my life.”

“It isn’t just the soldier that gets impacted. It ends up being us. It’s the entire nation. Either one gone or a hundred eighty-six gone. It’s all the same. A life loss.”

“If the politicians had to wear the uniforms we wouldn’t have a war.”

From these shared thoughts we collectively wrote Beyond The Yellow Ribbon.

Beyond The Yellow Ribbon

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
To prosper, to grow
We need to bring those veterans
All the way home
To be of service
To those who serve me and you
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Beneath the red, white, and blue

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
With friends and family
Where no one is forgotten
In this community
From those who’ve been deployed
To those deployed at home
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
In body, heart & soul

It’s not just the soldier
It’s me and you
We’re in this together
Together we’ll make it through

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
War is hell! War is hell!
Forced to do the unspeakable
Some stories are hard to tell
We’re here to listen
We’re not here to judge
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons

It’s not just the soldier
It’s me and you
We’re in this together
Together we’ll make it through

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
This one thing I know
We’re standing with you
‘Til you’re all the way home
Before, during, after
We are here for you
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Beneath the red, white, and blue

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
We are here for you

Words & music by Larry Long
with Bill Cassavant, Jamie Cassavant, Jenny Amon, Jim Buckmiller, Laurie Anderson, Staff Sergeant Mathew Metcalf, Suzanne Staver, Paula Lundgren, Tamy Kraft, Shannon Stassen.

© Larry Long Publishing 2014 / BMI

American Roots Revue will be performing this Thursday & Friday, August 14th & 15th in Crookston, Minnesota, as part of Ox Cart Days to honor our Veterans, in partnership with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and the Crookston Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau.  Free & Open to the public!

The 4th Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at UMC Kiehle Auditorium.  We will be honoring three Veterans this year and will also be doing a special WWII presentation. We have the privilege of having the American Roots Revue performing their song “Welcome Home” at the ceremony. They have also agreed to sing the National Anthem at the beginning of the program.

Service Flag Line at Entrance – Civil Air Patrol

3:00 p.m.              Doors Open at Kiehle Auditorium

3:15 p.m.              Color Guard by B-Co 2/136 CAB

Service Flags by Civil Air Patrol

National Anthem – American Roots Revue

Pledge of Allegiance

3:30 p.m.              Welcome by Master of Ceremonies – Police Chief Paul Biermaier

3:35 p.m.              David Chaffee – Introduction and Presentation of Plaque by Paul Biermaier

3:40 p.m.              Jim C. Sheridan – Introduction and Presentation of Plaque by Leo Luettejohann

3:45 p.m.              Robert “Bob” Young – Introduction and Presentation of Plaque by Rich Simmons

3:50 p.m.              WWII Plague Presentation by Bill Cassavant, Chairman BYR to Chuck Whiting

Polk County Administrator

3:55 p.m.              “Welcome Home” song by American Roots Revue

4:00 p.m.              Retirement of Colors – B-Co 2/136 CAB

4:05 p.m.              Downtown Square for the Flag Retirement Ceremony presented by the Boy Scouts

4:15 p.m.              American Roots Revue – “Veterans Honor” song and “Crookston” song

Flag Retirement Ceremony by the Boy Scouts

5:00 p.m.              American Roots Revue Concert in the Town Square

After the Veterans Recognition Ceremony, everyone is invited to the DownTown Square to participate in the Flag Retirement Ceremony.  This ceremony shows the dignity and respect that is given to properly dispose of the flag that has flown with honor but is no longer suitable for display.  The American Roots Revue will be performing their special song being written for Crookston and will be performing their concert after the Flag Retirement Ceremony in the Town Square.

“This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.”

 

American Roots Revue will be performing for Hands Across the World in St. Cloud, Minnesota on July 31st, Thursday, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Wilson Park, 625 Riverside Avenue NE, St. Cloud, MN. Free and open to the public! Rain or shine!

American Roots Revue features Larry Long, JD Steeele, Tonia Hughes and Waubanewquay Dorene Day with Billy Peterson (upright bass), March Marc Anderson (percussion), Brian Ziemniak (keyboards), Cory J Wong(guitar), and special guest: Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott.

Hands Across the World is the first contact for the refugee & immigrant families of Central Minnesota

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

http://www.handsacrosstheworldmn.org/index.html

“American Roots Revue” has now performed in two of the five out state Minnesota communities this summer. 

Each concert features a song collectively written by members of the host community at a two-hour ‘World Café’ model workshop with Larry Long.

In Cass Lake, Minnesota, the host organization was the Leech Lake Boys & Girls Club. Attached is the photograph of the young people I worked with. That evening we brought them all up on stage to sing the song they wrote for their community at the annual Summer Fest in downtown Cass Lake, Minnesota!

Gii Zah G’iin
(I Love You)

Jessica, Jenni, Alayna
James, Lia, Davie
Plus Marla, Gabi, Sue
Lindsey and Larry
These are the people who
Wrote down this song
At the ‘Girls & Boys Club’
We promise it won’t take long

Oh-ah-oh-ah
Oh-ah-ah-ah-ah

Gii Zah G’iin, Gii Zah G’iin
I love you!

Indian Tacos with frybread
Sure does taste good
In Cass Lake where we live
In our neighborhood
The Big Drum, Circle of Life
Heartbeat of Giimaamaa Aki
At the Pow Wow at Summerfest
Where we play and sing

Gii Zah G’iin, Gii Zah G’iin
I love you!

We are all related, family and friends
If that is so, let us go
Celebrate ‘til the end
Begins a new, me and you
A new life has begun
Beneath the sun and the moon
And the stars above

Oh-ah-oh-ah
Oh-ah-ah-ah-ah

Gii Zah G’iin, Gii Zah G’iin
I love you!

Words and music by Larry Long
With Youth at the Boys & Girl Club
Cass Lake, Minnesota

© Larry Long Publishing 2014 / BMI

These series of performances is being organized by Community Celebration of Place (501-C3) through an Arts Tour Minnesota grant made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

 

IMG_2522

picnic flyerSUNDAY, JULY 20, Noon to 4 pm., Wabun Picnic Area D, Minnehaha Park Minneapolis 55417 Music/ Brief Speeches/ Children’s Games/ Historical Display FREE LUNCH-RAIN OR SHINE Featuring: LARRY LONG, Social Justice Troubadour, with Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott & Neil Gelvin; WISCONSIN SING ALONG GROUP, Nation’s longest running musical protest; TWIN CITIES LABOR CHORUS; CENTRO DE TRABAJADORES UNIDOS EN LA LUCHA (CTUL) members who participated in janitorial strikes againt Target Corp.; JENNIFER BECKHAM, Hamline University adjunct professor and organizer in SEIU/ Adjunct Action campaign; SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION (SEIU) worker-organizer for home health care workers; BRAD LEHTO, Chief of staff, Minnesota AFL-CIO; PAUL SLATTERY, Organizer/Political Director, Teamsters Local 120; BRIAN ALDES, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 320; LINDA LEIGHTON, SEIU Local 284 steward, IWW member and granddaughter of V.R. Dunne, 1934 strike leader; BOB McNATTIN, Retired member, Teamsters Local 120 Treasurer, Remember 1934 Committee; BRYAN PALMER, Trent University professor, author of new book, “Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934”; PETER RACHLEFF, Labor historian; founder, East Side Freedom Library; DAVE RIEHLE, Labor historian; United Transportation Union Local 650 www.facebook.com/Remember1934

 For the past thirty nine years, a quiet unassuming organization has been very busy ‘saving’ what they call America’s old-time music.  Located in the very Midwestern State of Iowa, it was founded by Smithsonian Institution recording artists Bob & Sheila Everhart who make their home in the Corn State.  Over the years they have managed to build a Performance Arts Theater, a Pioneer Music Museum, a Fiddler’s Hall of Fame, an Old Time Music Hall of Fame, and an Ag-Expo Festival of acoustic old-time music to support it all.  One of the major responsibilities of the 501(c)3 corporation is to recognize contributors to the music they are saving. 
 According to Bob Everhart, the President, “This year, Minneapolis resident, Larry Long, enters a Hall of Fame with the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Sr., the Carter Family, Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, even Patti Page, already in it.  Selection is not determined by a popularity contest, neither is it determined by huge record sales or miles traveled.  It’s determined by ‘talent’ and how it is used to enhance the choices offered in todays hodge-podge music world.  Old time ‘real-deal’ acoustic music is perhaps the most discriminated genre of music in America today, and that makes it doubly important to us to make sure that those who actually perform it, play it, share it, enhance it, promote it, create it, gets a pat on the back, and a standing ovation of appreciation from our membership.  We will be doing that this year at our 39th Annual National Old Time Festival of Traditional Music & Rural Lifestyle at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa, August 25-31, 2014, and Larry Long is the centerpiece. “
According to Everhart, “Larry Long of Minneapolis, will certainly be a deserving addition to America’s Old Time Music Hall of Fame.  Larry is a troubadour, much like the medieval singers who traveled from court to court, town to town, delivering messages in songs.  For 40 years, Long has sung at protests, festivals, union actions and political rallies around Minnesota, the nation and the world.  He writes, and in his lilting voice sings in the social justice tradition of Pete Seeger.  He hews to Seeger’s belief that everyone has ‘a sacred obligation to do their best at what they’re called upon to do.”  According to Larry, “When I was younger, I lived life like a bullet.  A quarter-credit shy of graduation, I took off with my friend Fiddlin’ Pete.  We rode the rails just like Woody Guthrie.  According to Atesh Sonneborn, the Associate Director for Programs at the Smithsonian, “Folk music isn’t easily defined, but we know it when we hear it.  That’s one of the reasons I keep tabs on Larry Long’s personal project, “Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Songs,” which is based intensely in place.  Larry goes into a community, working with the children and elders to find their own traditions – their music traditions in that place.”  According to Larry, “When I’m doing the best of this work, I’m pretty anonymous.  This systemic work is tougher to write about than say,sulfide mining issues.  At heart, the work is rooted in love and empathy and core values.  Out of core values, we tend to make decisions about what touches our hearts.” This wonderful creative artist certainly will be a welcome addition to those we have honored in the past for keeping America’s rural and traditional music alive.
 Some of the activities Larry will participate in during his time at the Iowa Festival is a Guitar Pull, a Harmonica Howl, a Fiddler’s Jubilee, a Carl Sandburg Reading, a Banjo Jamboree, an Autoharp Gathering, a Dulcimer Do, a Mandolin Pickin’, an Accordion & Concertina Get Together, a Songwriters Circle, and a Poet’s Corner, as well as main stage performances.  
The Everharts honor many different contributors to the music they love.  “We are very happy to be able to have John Carter Cash with us at this year’s event,” Everhart said, “he is the only child of John and June Carter Cash, and is more producer and director than he is vocalist and instrumentalist, but he does it all incredibly well.  He is a staid supporter of America’s old-time music.  After all, his grandmother was Maybelle Carter.  Joining John are other interesting performers of America’s great old time music.  LuLu Roman, the funny lady from Hee Haw will be with us, however not as the comedy figure she portrayed on that very popular television show, but as an extremely lovely vocalist of old-time country Gospel music.  Terry Smith the composer of “Far Side Banks of Jordan” for Johnny & June Carter Cash will be with us, and Hugh Moffatt who wrote “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You” will also head up the Songwriter’s Circle.  Add to that terrific bluegrass bands like David Davis and the Warrior River Boys from Alabama, Larry Gillis and Swampgrass from Georgia, and well over 650 other musicians and music makers and you begin to realize why this event lasts seven days, on ten stages, from 9am to midnight every day.” 
The facility where the event is held is an alcohol-free drug-free venue, with over 350 RV parking spaces with hook-ups.  A number of food vendors on the grounds assures delightful dining options, along with arts & crafts, a flea market, a rendezvous village in an old ghost town, even an old log cabin front porch which is ideal for some of the old-time music makers.  “We did a television show for PBS,” Everhart noted, “called Old Time Country Music.  It aired in 22 states and became a household name in our state.  We’re still keeping that very pleasant idea of America’s music alive and well.  This music is from the hill folk, the sons of the soil, dirt farmers and cowboys and coal miners, sailors, and troubadours, and their music should not be relegated to the dust bins.  This is part of our heritage.  America’s heritage, and we’re doing our part keeping it alive. “
Bob & Sheila Everhart, P O Box 492, Anita, Iowa, 50020  – 712-762-4363  –   bobeverhart@yahoo.com

“Thank you all so very much for coming to For Pete’s Sake: Celebrating Pete Seeger’s 95th Birthday at the Fitzgerald Theatre. The portals of heaven opened up for this moment of time and we were able to catch a glimpse of dreams fulfilled through the life-work of both Pete and his beloved wife, Toshi.  If the audio and film footage turned out as good as the concert, we will most certainly produce a film for those weren’t able to attend. But for now – for Pete’s Sake – I’m going to take the day off, work in the garden and give back a little thanks to this beautiful earth of ours.”    Larry Long   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvnsB_kVNYI